Deer Park Masters 36 Hole ProAm Qualifying- Deer Park (7th July 2016)
I always look forward to playing at Deer Park as the course generally suits my eye and I have never played that badly in any event held there. With a decent forecast after a week of rain, I felt good about my game and thought I could score well in this qualifier for the 36 Hole Pro-Am in August. After hitting some balls reasonably well and a practice putt, I realised I did not have a pencil in my bag to mark score, so I nipped to the shop to get one and was charged 30p for the privilege. I know Brexit is having a big effect on the money markets but didn’t think it would happen so soon to a marker pencil!
On the tee I met my playing partner David Lee who works for American Golf in Aberdeen, and due to a late withdrawl there were only the two of us playing in the group. This gave us a good chance to chat and get to know each other better than we normally would if there was the usual threeball, so we got on right away. Even working in retail, David could not believe I’d been charged 30p for a pencil, and yes I was still going on about it half way down the first hole. As we chatted, I asked if David knew fellow Christian Ricky Gray who also worked for American Golf earlier this year, to which he replied Ricky was his store manager in East Kilbride and ultimately helped him on his way to running his own store in Aberdeen. This gave us plenty to talk about regarding Golf and Faith, so for the next few holes we discussed my own story and how I came to be involved with Logos after a very up and down golf journey and what the role entailed. This led to David talking about his time in America when he attended college in the Bible Belt and how some of his best friends were Christians and how normal they were. He also has the utmost respect for Ricky and learned a lot from him, not just in the retail industry, but also how he conducted himself with his faith. Telling someone about Christ is one thing but living the example is what consolidates it.
As we continued with our game David was playing reasonably well but I was struggling a bit after only a few holes and could not seem to get the right results. After having such a positive interaction to start with I began to question if I really should be playing out here as this just wasn’t good enough. Its funny how those negative thoughts creep in at just the right time to try and make you feel worse, so I began to feel pretty deflated and not enjoying the golf. Starting with a couple of solid pars I would not have thought I would have been 8 over after 8 holes but that was the state of play. I thought about the example Ricky had shown to David through their time working together and knew I had to keep it going, but in the right way. I wanted to still chat with David and encourage him because as Golfers and Christians we also have a responsibility to our playing partners. After making that decision everything changed and I played the remainder of the course in 4 under. David couldn’t believe the finish and commended me on my back 9, especially considering a challenging start. Although 4 over is not the score I would have liked, it at least has given me a chance of qualifying for the event as one of the first few reserves. If I do happen to make it to the event I will look back on this as a very important reminder that anything can happen when we put on the right frame of mind.
David and I shared a drink after the round and I was happy to have consolidated another new friendship. I hope to see him again at other events, especially the events up north and will try to keep in touch with him over coming seasons. I wish him well in his career and pray for God to move in his life using other Christians as further examples.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador on the Tartan Tour contact Vince by email email@example.com